THE BLOG

Running a Business on a Budget: Tips and Resources

02/12/2014 13:37 GMT | Updated 01/02/2015 10:59 GMT

Whether you are just getting started on you are a little way down the line of your entrepreneurial awesomeness, keeping those goddam overheads low, low, LOW is key in making some actual monies.

Here are some of my key resources to make your money go further, to save you costs, and to help accelerate your business faster than you can say Brandon. Or Forleo. Or whoever lights your fire.

So - here are some of affordable resources for running a business on a budget.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is your list building friend when you are starting out. Cheaper than it's competitors, Mailchimp packs a powerful punch when it comes to automating workflows for ecourses and follow ups. It's easy to use, it's free up to 2,000 subscribers, you can drag and drop emails to make them look fab - what's not to like?

Giffgaff

Giffgaff is the jedi of phone deals. For just £10 a month, I get 500 minutes of calls, unlimited texts, and 1GB of data which covers all I need to run my biz from the iPhone.

The snag is you will need to buy your 'phone yourself, but the money you save makes this well worth it. If you are our of contract, giffgaff is a lifesaver for phone bills.

Fancy Hands*

As business grows there are so many tasks that take up time when they just don't need to. I have been using Fancy Hands for about a year and adore them.

FancyHands is a virtual team of assistants who can deal with all sorts of queries from making appointments for you, research, changing your schedule, finding travel details, hotels, train times, you name it they can do it.

And fast.

This is a really affordable way to start to outsource and to leverage other peoples' time when you are starting to invest in your biz.

I still use them despite having a growing Team Diva behind me, as there are many tasks it's not worth paying a higher rate for my VA or assistants to do, but still need doing. Also, for personal admin and research it's super helpful (as many mums know, having kids at school can be a part time job managing the bake sale/school play requests alone!).

Cafés and co-working spaces

One of the things about working from home is missing the interaction with other, actual, 3-d people.

I adore my home office (I certainly don't miss commuting on sweaty, jam packed trains), and I love the flexibility of it all. However, I do need to GET OUT a few times a week in order to maintain a level of sanity.

In the past I have been a member of lovely London members clubs and private VIP jobbies which are fab, but not needed when you are just starting out.

Cafés are great for just re-connecting with people and a buzz of life. I also love to use the Regus Business Lounges with super fast wi-fi and Think Pods to work in. There are some great co-working places around, too - I long for Super Super to open a place in Cambridge - so choose what kind of vibe you need and have a couple of locations up your sleeve to maintain non hermit status.

I tend to need different environments depending on the type of work I am on at the time. If I am likely to yell anytime someone breaks my concentration, I need someone quiet and undisturbed. If I need the buzz of people as I jam out ideas in my Bullet Journal I go for a different vibe.

So, save money on an "office" (after all, isn't that why we went self-employed, to escape the cage?) and shake up your locations.

IFTTT

As many of you who know my work will be aware, IFTTT is one of my workflow faves. This is a FREE resource that will save you so much time on just so many things.

Whether you have started to outsource tasks or not, IFTTT will save you time (and money) by making things that you already use work smarter. So, archive your tweets, make research come to you, automatically re-post across networks - the possibilities are endless.

Skype

When I first started out in business, connecting with a client for an hour meant a whole day out from work.

It required a train ticket, lunch and snacks out, extended childcare, costs for a meeting room and all sorts. So you are talking easily £250 sometimes just to meet for a catch up, plus a day's work not completed.

Now then.

Skype is your friend. Clients across the world can talk to me (and you!) immediately, face to face, and at a time that suits you both. No need for travel/childcare/a day out from work. Nope.

Skype is free, it's awesome and it's a gateway to global business should you require it.

Calendly

Speaking of meetings, meet your new friend Calendly.

Stop with the back and forth "does this day work", emails that make you bang your head against the wall. It's just EASIER - it looks lovely, it syncs with your Google Calendar and there is a free plan available too for limited event settings.

I use Calendly to book my podcaast interviews, client meetings, and also for my Mini Mentor Sessions with which I have also incorporated a Paypal workflow into the booking. EASY!

Everything Google

Don't pay for Microsoft Office packages. Please.

Google Docs, Google Calendar, Google Mail power up most things in the Team Diva workflow alongside Slack and Dropbox), and they are FREEE, FREEEEEE I tell you! Not only that, but you can jazz them up to have even more super powers with Zapier, IFTTT and other snazzy plugins.

How do you save money with your business?

This post originally appeared on The Dexterous Diva.